Tommy Art Tips and Best Practices

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Preparing Your Surface

 
 

Tommy Art mineral paint does not require a primer in order to adhere effectively to any surface. For best results, make sure the surface is oil and grease free. Dirt or flaking paint must
be entirely removed from the surface to maintain color stability.

For particularly slippery materials such as chrome-plated metals, plexiglass, enamelled ceramics, or other non-porous surfaces that will be handled regularly,
prepare the surface with Tommy Art primer.

 

Untreated Wood (rough or sanded)

Clean the surface with soap and water to remove dirt, grease, or oils. Dry well.


 

Treated Wood (rough and worn)

If the finish is rough, old, worn, or has layers of wax or shellac, sand lightly.

Remove dust with a damp cloth.

 

 

Treated Wood (new and smooth)

It is not necessary to sand items that are mainly decorative rather than frequently used. If an item is functional or handled, the following apply:

  • If the surface is new and smooth, sand thoroughly to roughen.
  • If the surface is treated with shellac, sand carefully and clean thoroughly with acetone. Rinse and dry well.
  • If the surface is treated with wax, sand carefully and clean thoroughly with hot water and ammonia. Rinse and dry well.
 

 

Smooth Materials (formica, plastic laminates, industrial varnishes)

Clean the surface with hot water and ammonia to remove grease and oils. Rinse and dry well. Sand thoroughly with coarse-grained sandpaper to
roughen the surface. Remove dust with a damp cloth. To increase the color’s surface adhesion, apply a primer and let dry 24-48 hours before painting.

 

Metal

Clean the surface with hot water and ammonia to remove grease and oils. Rinse and dry well. Sand thoroughly with coarse grade sandpaper to roughen the surface if necessary. Remove dust with a damp cloth.


Glass and Enameled Ceramics

Clean the surface with hot water and ammonia to remove grease and oils. Rinse and dry well. Because these materials are particularly smooth and rigid, decorations applied to them should be delicate and handled with extreme care.


Terracotta and Untreated Ceramics

These surfaces are porous and highly absorbent and should therefore be treated the same as untreated wood. Take precaution when using recycled or used objects. Wash and dry these items thoroughly before using a coat of primer to seal the surface. This
will help prevent any impurities from rising to the surface.


Brushes - What You Need to Know

 

As with most tools, finding the right one for the job is important. While finding the right brush tends to be a personal choice, we do have a few recommendations to help you get started.

 
 

 For Colors

Flat brushes with rigid bristles work best. Rigid or hard bristles create small raised areas between brush strokes, creating visible texture that can be used in various techniques.

Clean brushes with warm, soapy water.

 

 

For Waxes

Round brushes with rigid bristles work best. These are sometimes referred to as ovalini. These brushes pick up large quantities of product and can apply various amounts of wax depending on pressure.

Wax brushes do not need to be cleaned between uses. The wax will harden on the brush, but will reactivate and soften when used again. We recommend using a different brush for each wax product because it is often difficult to remove all of the
wax from the brush.

Before cleaning the brushes, wipe them with a cloth soaked in neutral wax, removing as much color as possible. Brushes can then be cleaned with hot, soapy water.

Note: Because it is difficult to remove all of the wax from the bristles, do not use wax brushes to apply other Tommy Art products.

 

 

For Coatings

Flat brushes with flexible bristles work best. The softer bristles pick up large quantities of product and can apply various amounts of coating, depending on pressure.

Clean brushes with warm, soapy water.

 

For Use with Stencils

Round brushes with short, rigid bristles work best. These are sometimes referred to as tamponi or stippling brushes. The short, rigid bristles allow small amounts of product to be picked up and applied and help prevent color from seeping under the edge of
the stencil.

Clean brushes with warm, soapy water.


Other Tools

Palette knives, sponges, and texture tools are all important items to include in your Tommy Art arsenal. Each tool allows unique application of the product and assists in many special effect techniques.


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Color Techniques

 

There are a number of different techniques that can be done using Tommy Art mineral-based paint colors. Each technique will result in a different finished look. The most common technique is the “Vintage” technique, which is used to give a layered, distressed appearance. The difference between the two “Vintage” techniques is the type of wax product used and the grit of the sandpaper used for distressing.

Vintage - Classic (aka "Shabby Chic")

The Classic Vintage technique uses two contrasting colors. This can mean a contrast in color or value. The Classic Vintage technique requires choosing a base color (revealed in the distressed areas) and a surface color. The original color of the surface may also be considered the base color, therefore removing the need to apply any additional base layer. A fine grade sandpaper is used to create a gently distressed finish.

Supplies:

  • Two mineral paint colors
  • Solid wax bar
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Neutral wax or transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Clean the surface of the item to be painted.
  2. Apply the base color and let dry completely. (If the surface color is bein used as the base color, proceed to step three.)
  3. Rub the solid wax bar over the edges, corners, and other areas where the worn look is desired. If there are bits or flakes of wax remaining, brus them off with a clean cloth.
  4. Apply the surface color evenly and let dry completely.
  5. Sand with a fine grit sandpaper, paying close attention to the areas where the wax has been applied.
  6. Brush off dust and protect the surface with a neutral wax or transparent varnish.
 

 

Vintage - Distressed (aka Shabby Vintage)

The Distressed Vintage technique is similar to the Classic Vintage technique but uses cream wax rather than a solid wax and a coarse sandpaper to get a more distressed effect. Choose contrasting colors or values for best results.

Supplies:

  • Two mineral paint colors
  • Neutral wax
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Cotton cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Clean the surface of the item to be painted.
  2. Apply the base color and let dry completely. (If the surface color is being used as the base color, proceed to step three.)
  3. Use a brush to apply a small amount of neutral wax to edges, corners, and other areas where a distressed look is desired.
  4. Remove excess wax using a cotton cloth.
  5. Apply the surface color evenly and let dry completely.
  6. Sand with a coarse grit sandpaper, paying close attention to the area where the wax has been applied.
  7. Brush off dust and protect with a neutral wax or transparent varnish.
 

 

Chippy (aka Shabby Chippy)

The Chippy technique is used to create a multi-layered, heavily distressed or “chipped” appearance. This technique can be done with additional layers of color for a more aged appearance.

Supplies:

  • Three mineral paint colors
  • Neutral wax
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Cotton cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Clean the surface of the item to be painted.
  2. Apply the base color and let dry completely.
  3. Use a brush to apply a thin layer of neutral wax to the entire surface.
  4. Apply the second color and let dry completely.
  5. Sand with a coarse grit sandpaper to heavily distress the surface. Brush off any dust.
  6. Use a brush to apply a thin layer of neutral wax to the entire surface.
  7. Apply the third color and let dry completely.
  8. Sand with a coarse grit sandpaper to heavily distress the surface.
  9. Brush off dust and protect with neutral wax or transparent varnish.

Note:

The Chippy effect can be accentuated by adding a small amount of 3D dust crackle to the paint, which makes the color more dense and increases the flaking effect.

 

 

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing can be used to accentuate texture, create an aged appearance, and add dimension.

Supplies:

  • 2 or more colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper toweling

Steps:

  1. Clean the surface of the item to be painted.
  2. Apply the base color and let dry completely.
  3. Dip a paintbrush into color mineral paint and swipe across a piece of paper towel to remove most of the paint.
  4. Lightly brush the paint onto the surface, leaving light streaks of color where desired. Let dry completely.
  5. Repeat steps three and four with additional colors as desired.
 

 

Staining

Mineral paint colors can create a stained appearance.

Supplies:

  • Color mineral paint
  • Water
  • Wax brush
  • Cotton cloths

Steps:

  1. Clean the surface of item to be painted.
  2. Using a brush, apply a mineral paint to the surface.
  3. Before the color dries, use a wet cloth to remove some of the paint. The water will help create a glazed effect, leaving the pigment to “stain” the surface.

Note:

If the surface is large, work in small sections for best results.

 
 

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Metallic Paint Techniques

 

Tommy Art metallic paints’ unique thickness allows them to create effects which can be used to mimic natural elements.

 
 

Faux Aged Steel

Layer silver metallic paint and colored wax to create the look of aged steel. Use this technique with other metallic and wax colors to create different effects.

Supplies:

  • Silver metallic
  • Antiquing wax
  • Neutral wax
  • Palette knife
  • Paintbrush
  • Cotton cloth

Steps:

  1. Using a palette knife, apply silver metallic paint to the entire surface. Apply thickly to create texture.
  2. Let dry completely.
  3. Using a brush, apply a thick layer of antiquing wax. Let dry slightly.
  4. Using a cloth dipped in neutral wax, gently remove the antiquing wax from the surface texture.
  5. Let dry until no longer tacky to the touch.
  6. If desired, buff with a clean cloth to add shine.
 

 

Tinted Metallic Glazes

Combine metallic paints with color mineral paints to create shimmering, colored glazes.

Supplies:

  • Metallic color
  • Color mineral paint
  • Small mixing bowl or jar
  • Craft stick
  • Paintbrush
  • Water

Steps:

  1. In a small mixing bowl or jar, mix equal parts of metallic and mineral paint.
  2. Add a small amount of water to thin the metallic color and create a glaze.
  3. Using a brush, apply a thin layer of metallic colored glaze to the surface.
  4. Let dry completely.
  5. If desired, add additional glaze layers to deepen opacity.
 

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Wax Techniques

 

Tommy Art waxes are part of the Finish line and can be used to add color, enhance texture, or protect surfaces.

 
 

Coloring or Sealing Untreated Wood with Waxes

Give wood a natural feel without covering the beauty of the grain.

Supplies:

  • Untreated wood Surface
  • Neutral or colored wax
  • Paintbrush
  • Cotton cloth or steel wool

Steps:

  1. Apply wax with a brush, moving in the direction of the grain. Allow the wax to penetrate evenly.
  2. Let dry until no longer tacky to the touch.
  3. Buff with steel wool for a satin effect. Buff with a damp cloth for a glossy effect.

Note:
On very absorbent wood, several coats may be needed. Always dry and buff
between coats for the best results.

 

 

Wax Patina

Use colored wax over color mineral paints to create a simple patina effect.

Supplies:

  • Painted surface
  • Colored wax
  • Wax brush
  • Cotton cloth or steel wool

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply a thick layer of wax over the entire painted surface.
  2. Rub with a cotton cloth to help the wax penetrate the color.
  3. Remove excess wax with a clean cotton cloth.
  4. Let dry until no longer tacky to the touch.
  5. Buff with steel wool for a satin effect. Buff with a damp cloth for a glossy effect.
 

 

Wax Tinting

Use both colored wax and neutral wax to soften the look of the color. This
technique works well on smooth surfaces as well as objects with a lot of surface texture.

Supplies:

  • Painted surface
  • Neutral wax
  • Colored wax
  • Wax brush
  • Cotton cloth or steel wool

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply a very light layer of neutral wax over the entire painted surface.
  2. Remove excess wax with a cotton cloth.
  3. Using a brush, apply a thin layer of colored wax to the entire surface.
  4. Using a cloth dipped in neutral wax, gently remove the colored wax. This will leave hints of the colored wax in the natural grain and texture of the surface while tinting the color.
  5. Let dry until no longer tacky to the touch.
  6. Buff with steel wool for a satin effect. Buff with a damp cloth for a glossy effect.
 

Wax Antiquing

Use colored waxes directly on painted surface to accentuate texture and create a deeper aged effect. This technique works well on objects with a lot of surface texture.

Supplies:

  • Painted surface
  • Neutral wax
  • Colored wax
  • Wax brush
  • Cotton cloth or steel wool

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply a layer of colored wax evenly over the textured and painted surface. Make sure the wax penetrates the heavily textured areas.
  2. Using a cloth dipped in neutral wax, remove the colored wax from the protruding areas. For a more delicate look, remove colored wax immediately. For a more intense appearance, let colored wax dry before removing.
  3. Let dry until no longer tacky to the touch.
  4. Buff with steel wool for a satin effect. Buff with a damp cloth for a glossy effect.
 

Custom Colored Wax

Tommy Art waxes and colors can be combined to create an array of custom colored
waxes. These colored waxes can be used in any of the techniques above. The ratio for
creating custom colored wax is 5:1 neutral wax to color. Mix well before using.

 

Coating Techniques

 

Tommy Art coatings are often used to add semi-transparent color and aging effects to surfaces.

Coloring or Sealing Untreated Wood with Coatings

Give wood a natural feel without covering the beauty of the grain while adding color.

Supplies:

  • Untreated wood surface
  • Neutral or colored coating
  • Paintbrush
  • Neutral wax or varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. For a transparent effect, dilute colored coating with water. For a semi-transparent effect, use coating as is.
  2. Apply coating with a brush, following the direction of the wood grain. Ensure the coating penetrates evenly.
  3. Let dry completely.

Note: 

If coating is diluted more than 30%, protect the surface with neutral wax or transparent varnish.


Coating Patina

Use colored coating over mineral paint to create a simple patina effect. Play with the color combinations to obtain a variety of interesting looks.

Supplies:

  • Painted surface
  • Colored coating
  • Paintbrush
  • Neutral wax or transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply colored coating to the entire painted surface.
  2. Let dry completely.
  3. Finish with neutral wax or transparent varnish if desired.

Coating Tinting

Use neutral wax and a colored coating over a painted surface to create a layered, antique effect.

Supplies:

  • Painted surface
  • Neutral wax
  • Colored coating
  • Paintbrush
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Cotton cloth
  • Transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply a thin layer of neutral wax to the entire painted surface.
  2. Remove excess wax with a cotton cloth.
  3. Using a brush, apply colored coating to the entire painted surface.
  4. Let dry completely.
  5. Sand lightly to reveal underlying color.
  6. Protect with neutral wax or transparent varnish.

Coating Antiquing

Use colored coatings directly on a painted surface to accentuate texture and create a
deeper aged effect. This technique works well on objects with a lot of surface texture.

Supplies:

  • Painted surface
  • Colored coating
  • Brush
  • Damp cloth or sponge
  • Neutral wax or transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply colored coating to the entire painted surface. Make sure coating penetrates the heavily textured areas.
  2. Using a damp cloth or sponge, carefully remove the colored coating from the protruding areas. For a more delicate look, remove coating immediately. For a more intense appearance, let coating dry slightly before removing.
  3. Let dry completely.
  4. Protect with neutral wax or transparent varnish.

Weathered Wood Grain (Dimensional or Flat)

Use neutral wax and a colored coating over a painted, wood patterned surface to create a weathered wood effect. This can be done with dimensional gesso for a dimensional effect or a paint color for a non-dimensional effect.

Supplies:

  • Mineral paint color or dimensional gesso
  • Wood grain spatula
  • Neutral wax
  • Colored coating
  • Paint brushes
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Cotton cloth
  • Transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply a thick layer of dimensional gesso or mineral paint to the entire surface. (Surface can be painted or not.)
  2. Immediately create a textured pattern using the wood grain spatula.
  3. Let dry completely.
  4. Using a brush, apply a light layer of neutral wax over patterned surface.
  5. Remove excess wax with a cotton cloth.
  6. Using a brush, evenly apply colored coating to the entire surface.
  7. Let dry completely.
  8. Sand lightly with a fine grit sandpaper to reveal underlying wood grain pattern.
  9. Protect the surface with neutral wax or transparent varnish

Bleached Oak Woodgrain

Overlay wet colors and add a coating to recreate the effect of light, bleached wood.

Supplies:

  • Dove-Grey mineral paint
  • Cashmere mineral paint
  • White coating
  • Wood grain spatula
  • Brush
  • Neutral wax or transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply Dove-Grey to the entire surface.
  2. Immediately brush Cashmere randomly onto the surface leaving uneven strokes.
  3. Let dry completely
  4. Using a brush, apply white coating.
  5. Immediately create a textured pattern using the wood grain spatula.
  6. Let dry completely.
  7. Protect with neutral wax or transparent varnish.

Note:

Create interesting effects by changing the base colors and the coating color.


Damask Effect

Create an interesting watermark-like look with slightly colored neutral coating.

Supplies:

  • Mineral paint colors
  • Neutral coating
  • Small plastic bowl or jar
  • Craft stic
  • Stencil
  • Masking or painters tape
  • Stencil brush or sponge
  • Neutral wax or transparent varnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply the color to the entire surface.
  2. Let dry completely.
  3. In a small bowl or jar, mix 15 parts neutral coating with one part color paint (use the same color as used in step one).
  4. Using masking tape, attach the stencil to the painted surface.
  5. With a stencil brush or sponge, tap the paint colored coating over stencil.
  6. Carefully remove stencil, wipe clean, and reposition on the painted surface if necessary. Make sure not to position stencil over previously stenciled areas as they may still be wet.
  7. Repeat steps four through six as necessary.
  8. Let dry completely.
  9. Protect with neutral wax or transparent varnish.

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Paste Techniques

Tommy Art pastes can be used alone or with paint colors, waxes, or coatings to create a number of realistic or natural effects.

Faux Stone

Create the look of weathered stone with rock paste and coating.

Supplies:

  • Rock paste
  • Palette knife
  • Antiquing coating
  • Paintbrush
  • Damp cloth or sponge

Steps:

  1. Using a palette knife, spread rock paste over the entire surface. Leave texture for a weathered appearance.
  2. Let dry completely.
  3. Using a brush, apply antiquing coating to the entire surface. Make sure the coating penetrates the textured areas.
  4. Use a damp cloth or sponge to immediately remove some of the antiquing coating. Remove unevenly for a more realistic stone-like look.

Faux Rust

Use a combination of rust paste 1, rust paste 2, and coating to create the look of oxidized, rusted metal.

Supplies:

  • Rust paste 1
  • Rust paste 2
  • Stencil/stipple brush
  • Paintbrush
  • Antiquing coating
  • Damp cloth or sponge
  • Neutral wax or transparent varnish

Steps:

  1. Using a stencil or stipple brush, apply rust paste 1 onto most of the surface. Scrub the brush in various directions to create slight texture.
  2. Using a stencil or stipple brush, immediately dab rust paste 2 randomly onto the surface. Leave some areas dark, some areas blended, and some areas light.
  3. Let dry completely.
  4. Using a brush, apply antiquing coating to the entire surface.
  5. Use a damp cloth or sponge to immediately remove some of the antiquing coating. Remove unevenly for a more realistic rusted appearance.
  6. Let dry completely.
  7. Protect with neutral wax or transparent varnish.

Faux Stucco

Combine sand paste and ochre paste to create a subtle, stucco effect.

Supplies:

  • Sand paste
  • Ochre paste
  • Palette knife
  • Dove Grey coating
  • Paintbrush
  • Damp cloth or sponge

Steps:

  1. Using a palette knife, apply sand paste randomly to half of the surface.
  2. Using a palette knife, immediately apply ochre paste to the remaining areas.
  3. Randomly blend the sand paste into the ochre paste to create a variety of tones, ranging from white to yellow. Let dry completely.
  4. If a more weathered appearance is desired, follow the remaining steps.
  5. Using a brush, apply Dove Grey coating randomly to some areas of the surface.
  6. Using a damp cloth or sponge, immediately remove some of the coating. Remove unevenly for a more realistic, weathered stucco appearance.

Specialty Product Techniques

Tommy Art specialty products are mediums that combine and complement the rest of the Tommy Art line. Each has its own uses and effects.

Crackle Paint

Tommy Art 3D dust crackle can be combined with paint colors and coatings to create
the look of aged, cracking paint.

Supplies:

  • 3D dust crackle
  • Color mineral paint
  • Colored coating
  • Small mixing bowl or jar
  • Craft stick
  • Paintbrush or palette knife
  • Damp cloth or sponge

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl or jar, mix 3D dust crackle with color mineral paint to create a paste. (10:1 ratio for cracking).
  2. Using a brush or palette knife, apply a thick layer of colored paste.
  3. Let dry completely. Cracking should appear as product dries.
  4. Using a brush, apply colored coating to entire surface. Allow coating to penetrate cracks.
  5. Using a damp cloth or sponge, remove coating from the surface. The cracks will be enhanced by the remaining colored coating.

 


Photo Transfer

Words, phrases, or images can be transferred to a number of different surfaces with Tommy Art transfer gel and this easy technique.

Supplies:

  • White mineral paint color
  • Transfer image
  • Transfer gel
  • Paintbrush
  • Bone folder or credit card
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Neutral and antiquing wax (optional)
  • Cotton cloth (optional)

Steps:

  1. Using a brush, apply a layer of white paint to the surface and let dry completely.
  2. Prepare images using a photocopier or laser printer.Reverse any text or writing.
  3. Using a brush, apply a layer of transfer gel to the printed side of the image or text.
  4. Immediately place the image (gel side down) onto the painted surface.
  5. Press well and smooth with the bone folder or credit card to remove folds and bubbles.
  6. Let dry completely. (At least two hours.)
  7. With a wet sponge, dampen the back of the image.
  8. Gently rub with your fingers to remove the paper.
  9. Repeat steps seven and eight until image is completely visible.
  10. Let dry completely. (At least two hours.) Some clouding may occur as the image dries. If the image is not clearly visible, re-wet and remove as much of the backing paper as possible without damaging the image.
  11. Let dry completely.
  12. Protect the image with transfer gel or neutral wax.
  13. For an antique look, apply a small amount of antiquing wax to the edges and corners.
  14. Remove excess wax and buff with a cotton cloth.